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Dangerous or the Optimum Diet?

by Dave Klein

In past issues of this newsletter we have heard from Tom Billings about problems with fruit eating. Furthermore, the American Living Foods Institute and the Hippocrates Institute advise against eating more than a little fruit. In view of 1) the physiological fact that our digestive system is designed to handle a diet of mostly fruit, 2) scientific evidence that tropical fruit eating promotes optimum brain function, 3) the fact that fruit eating has been the best way for some people inside and outside of our group, and 4) because some have asked me to speak up in behalf of fruit eating, I'm grateful for the opportunity to offer my perspectives on the matter of fruit eating.

Why have some people taken to eating mostly fruit and why are they so expressive about it?

Because we sense deep in our bones, to the core of our essence, that sweet juicy luscious ripe fruit is the best and most harmonizing food to put in our bodies for nourishment. To us, eating fruit feels as natural as breathing air, and we love feeling and expressing how great we feel eating this natural diet. The emotion that fruit eaters express comes from a deep place of knowing. And we feel passionate about inspiring others to connect with their most natural food because we sense that fruit eating is the best way to help the inner joy shine through. We want others to enjoy for themselves the great benefits we feel, namely a clean body, clear mind and vivacious energy. Tom Billings has labeled certain expressive high-energy fruit eaters as "zealots"; I think of them as "passionate."

How should one approach fruit eating?

Get the proper education and enjoy. One must understand every step of the way that most discomforts that arise when eating fruit are detoxification symptoms. And, the detoxification period will never end if we eat cooked food or junk food while eating a fruit-based diet. In order to enjoy the high benefits of eating fruit, we need to purify our bodies. That takes time - it can take years. If we choose to be healthy we need to persevere, and it is important to have an experienced health coach. The reward for living correctly, taking best care of ourselves and eating a fruit-based diet is high vitality and natural euphoria. That's my experience - it took me 8 years to get there, after being ill and depleted from 8 years with ulcerative colitis.

Uncomfortable symptoms and problems when transitioning onto the fruit diet can also arise from: 1) poor food combining (fruit must be eaten on an empty stomach alone or, with only green vegetables); 2) existing bacteria in a dirty/mucusy alimentary canal eating the fruit sugars and excreting alcohol and acids (the process of fermentation); 3) eating when there is no true hunger (we need to exercise to be hungry), 4) eating poor quality fruit (e.g., too acidic oranges, un-ripe fruit, or caramelized dried fruits), 5) emotional issues/overeating, and 6) lack of exercise. In every case of unsuccessful fruit eating I've observed, the major factors were lack of exercise and incomplete cleansing.

Is fruit too sweet?

Tom Billings has suggested that many fruit eaters are sugar addicts. My response has four parts: 1) To eat for optimum nutrition we must eat what is delicious. 2) Mother's milk is sweet - surely suckling infants are not sugar addicts, and sweet fruit and mother's milk have nearly identical nutrient compositions. 3) Overeating sweet fruit is a common problem, and overeating is often a problem on any diet. I often overate when I began my fruit-based diet, and I worked on that, and now I rarely overeat, and when I do it's to a small extent. I have never been around any fruit eater or raw fooder who does not at least occasionally overeat, and most of us are aware of that and working on eating as healthfully as possible. If we overeat on sweet fruit, the problem is not the fruit but our actions. 4) There are superbly healthy and emotionally balanced people who have thrived for many years on a fruit-based diet.

If sweet fruit feels too sweet, we are toxic - we should stop eating it and do some cleansing with water and diluted citrus juices. Dried fruit is concentrated in sugar, so we should avoid it or eat it sparingly. Many of us feel "sugared out", or tired and spacey from eating too much sweet fruit. Part of that may be fermentation. Part of that may also be impaired pancreas function (insulin production and secretion). Part of that may also have to do with the liver. The liver is the organ which is designed to receive all of the sugar in our blood, and it is not always receptive to the sugar. If our livers are toxic, sluggish or simply not in need of nourishment, the liver cells may not be able to take in the sugar, and then we get into an acute problem: too much sugar in the blood, leading to energy swings, emotional swings, jitters and fatigue. We also need to avoid over doing it with nuts, seeds and avocado - they can overburden the liver and impair sugar reception.

So what's the answer to overeating sweet fruit? Conscious self control, or "conscious eating", as Dr. Gabriel Cousens' puts it. When hungry, it may help to minimize sweet fruit eating and to also eat non-sweet fruits and green vegetables. So instead of filling up on all sweet fruit, one might try eating only a handful of sweet fruit then go right for cucumbers and/or greens and celery, or wait 20 minutes and eat tomatoes if that's appealing.

I eat about 95% fruit, and about 50 to 70% of that is non-sweet fruits: cucumbers and, when in season, tomatoes. I normally eat avocado only once per week, I rarely eat nuts or seeds and haven't eaten cooked food in five years. This diet helps me keep my energy level at its highest, my body pure, and my blood sugar balanced. By the way, I do not label myself as a fruitarian - I think we are better off not identifying ourselves by how we eat or practice health.

We need to keep in mind that no diet works unless we exercise, including the fruit diet, because if there is not a cellular demand for all of the fruit sugar, the sugar will back up in the blood and we will have problems. Eating in the morning can make us sluggish if we do not exercise first. I run every morning before breakfast for five to fifteen minutes.

What about emotions and fruit eating?

It's important not to overeat on sweet fruits when we feel unhappy and need an emotional lift that sugar can bring. Humans eat mostly for emotional reasons, to fill in the psychic hole in our stomachs and to cover up emotional pain with something comforting, like the soothing creamy feeling that food can bring. And fruit makes us feel good inside, so we may overeat. That's not the fruit's fault though! To become healthier, we need to observe our emotions relative to food, and learn how to do the right work which will allow us to feel comfortable with our emotions. We need to learn to put love in our tummies on our own, rather than using food for that. We also need to learn to satisfy only true hunger - that's not easy, but it's necessary to work on it.

Fruitarian eating is the lightest of all diets and gives us our lightest body, and we become most sensitive on fruit. Emotional armoring melts away as the body becomes pure, and that can be unsettling and make life more challenging on such an energizing diet. Some feel "ungrounded" on fruit. In regard to that, learning how to live with conscious awareness via yoga and meditation helps us develop emotional balance and mental composure. "Grounding" ourselves with heavier foods really just makes us duller and less conscious, healthy and alive.

Modern living is tough, especially if we live in a metropolitan area. It takes courage to "lighten up" and face our emotions. So fruit lovers have a choice: follow our senses, lighten up our diet, face our emotions, do the emotional work and become more whole, healthy and alive; or remain "dense" and emotionally closed off and live in contraction. I advise people to seek appropriate counseling or mentoring in the emotional and spiritual aspects of fruit eating. Just one half hour of appropriate help can work wonders. I know of at least eight other counselors who can help people in this area.

What about minerals and fruit-eating?

Well-grown fruit has minerals, but maybe not enough. I believe that everyone in this society needs to get more minerals from their diet. Based on my experience and observations, I feel it's prudent for almost everyone, including fruit eaters, to eat some kind of algaes - single cell algaes like spirulina, or leafy algaes like dulse and nori. I personally prefer whole leaf dulse, for I sense that it is helping me to remineralize my body, as I have derived great health benefits since I added it to my diet.

Is fruit too cleansing to build muscle on it?

That's the way it appears to many people, but it has not proven to be true for long-time fruit eaters Roe Gallo, Don Weaver, Tom Stone and myself. It can take a few years to build up on fruit. The body will not build up until it is essentially completely detoxified. If fruit eaters stay too thin, their emotions and perceptions about their body and what food is supposed to do for them may figure in that. To gain weight on fruit, we must have the desire to live in a fit body, and we must be relaxed. Weight training may be necessary to build muscle mass - only a little bit can yield pleasing results. If fruit eaters want to gain weight and they are not into physical culture, I suggest that they try a few lessons with a fitness trainer - they may discover how great it can feel to work their muscles, develop muscle tone and have a stronger spine. Dr. Bernard Zovluck in Los Angeles and Stephen Arlin of Nature's First Law in San Diego are both 200 pound 100% raw food body builders who eat mostly fruit.

It is noteworthy that over the last year, Dr. Doug Graham, author of "The High Energy Diet" raw food recipe book, trained pro basketball player Ronnie Grandison. Doug is a chiropractor and fitness trainer for world-class athletes (he trained Martina Navratilova at one time) who teaches the Natural Hygiene approach out of his center in Florida. Doug recently informed me that Ronnie transitioned to a diet of about 90% fruit, and in October Ronnie made the New York Knicks team - the world's first pro athlete raw fooder! Ronnie is 6'8", 200 lbs., and according to Doug, is doing better than ever with regard to every aspect of his health and athletic performance. If you're searching for a good reason (there aren't many) to see the Warriors at least once this year, the Knicks are coming to Oakland on March 24. I'll try to get as many tickets as possible!

How does a fruit eater stay warm in the winter?

It isn't easy! My vitality drops to an extent every winter. Perhaps the best advice is to move to the tropics. Until we are ready and able to do that, here are some suggestions on how to cope with cold weather: 1). Dress as warmly as possible. 2). Keep your home as warm as possible. 3). Stay in as fit aerobic shape as possible. 4). Eat a little bit more avocado, and seeds and nuts if that works for you. Be aware that we cannot suddenly build an insulating layer of fat by eating a lot more avocado, seeds and nuts. These foods can help us feel better in the cold, by virtue of their fatty and amino acids and B vitamins. However, when we overeat on these foods, the liver and lymph can become congested, and we can become ill as putrefication and toxemia result. Eating warm cooked foods is not a healthful answer to cold weather. I recall that when I ate a bit of cooked food in the winter, after 20 minutes I felt colder and less happy than before I ate - cooked food is toxic, clogging and enervating! And I do not believe that hot soups and teas are the answer either. If we absolutely feel a need to warm up immediately after coming in from the cold, perhaps a hot shower or bath is the way to go.

Why have so few people been successful at eating a fruit-based diet?

Let's take a look at healthy long-term fruit eaters in our community. Roe Gallo, Don Weaver, Tom Stone and myself have been thriving on 90 to 100% fruit for 12 to 22 years, we are definitely very healthy, and I have not observed any nutritional deficiencies in any of us. Why have we succeeded? Here's what we have in common: 1) We all know how to live simply and live in our bodies - we love to exercise and keep fit, and we are in touch with our true food needs. 2) We know how to think critically and make healthful choices in life. 3) We understand human physiology. 4) We do not live our lives around food. 5) We have done emotional work or have had healthy emotional balance to begin with. 6) We eat no animal foods. 7) Only one of us eats cooked food, and a minimal amount at that. 8) All but one of us eats algae for the minerals. 9) We all have a passion for living and being healthy and we do not allow anything to stand in our way of reaching our goals in life.

So, to find the answer to this question, please examine what it takes to succeed. It's a wholistic process that takes uncommon intuitive thinking and complete dedication. A lack of any of those factors cited above is most likely the reason why people have not succeeded. I believe that anyone can succeed at eating a fruit-based diet, and if you'd like to succeed, I encourage you to learn from or "model" healthy fruit eaters and ask us questions - we love to help!

Should everybody concur that a fruit-based diet is best for them because other fruit eaters say so?

No. We need to find our own truths for ourselves through education, instinct, contemplation and experience and re-evaluation. When we learn how to keenly tune in to our body's signals, we will know what foods we need to create the level of health we desire. And we need to question our perceptions each day, every step along the way, for we do not always think correctly and we are changing, and so do our nutritional needs.

How can we find out what the best diet is for us?

The answer resides in our bodies. Our bodies will tell us what food is needed when we learn how to tune in to its messages. That's a life-long process, and in my opinion, the only way to survive and thrive. If you sense that fruit is the way to go and you have questions about how to succeed, talk with Roe Gallo, Don Weaver, Tom Stone and me to get a personal sense of why we are succeeding.

Is fruit eating dangerous?

I believe that fruit eating is the most natural and healthful way to go. If fruit is not eaten correctly, and/or if there are unhealthful lifestyle factors, fruit eating can lead to health problems (and so can any raw food eating style). Without an accurate education in physiology, the detoxification symptoms that come with fruit eating can be misinterpreted. Getting accurate education and coaching from experienced, long-term healthy fruit eaters is wise. Roe and I mentor fruit eaters of all ages and they do very well.

To those living foods scientists who say that fruit is bad for the body, I submit that they have never studied long-term healthy fruit eaters and learned from us.

What's the scoop on the "Raw Food Diet" book authored by the 3 fruit-loving guys in San Diego called Nature's First Law?

I've become close friends with the Nature's First Law guys and found them to be very warm, fun-loving and passionate educators who are brilliant at attracting attention to the raw food diet. Their book is designed to inspire people to take immediate "raw food action", and I can vouch that it has helped many people, and many believe its approach is right for the times. Everybody seems to be talking about them! Without personally knowing them and their sense of humor, it's easy to take some of their colorful verbiage too seriously. I did at first! I believe that they may become the first ones to popularize the raw food message through the popular media, and they plan to do so very soon.

What's happening in the raw food movement?

Did you see the "USA Today" October 27 feature newspaper article on raw foodism!?! That was quite an amazing and historic breakthrough! It showcased Juliano's RAW Living Foods Restaurant, plugged my Living Nutrition Magazine, and included the landmark quote by Stephen Arlin: "Cooked food is poison." A million people read that! I believe we are all playing a vital role in humanity's survival, and Nature's First Law, Roe and other friends and I have huge plans to take it to the next's all starting to unfold, so get ready!

What's up with Living Nutrition Magazine?

The goal is to establish it as the premier periodical on nutrition and health in North America. Issue no. 3, expanded to 24 pages, was sent out in November. Issue no. 4 was 80% complete as of this writing. It's been a long struggle to get it going with little financial backing, but the backing just arrived....stay tuned!

Dave Klein is a health education consultant, giving health consultations from his home office in Sebastopol, via phone or e-mail. Phone: (707) 829-8790. E-mail:   He also publishes Living Nutrition Magazine. Contact Dave to receive a free copy. Living Nutrition web site:  



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